Since I have been following baseball in 1984, our national past time has gone over several cosmetic changes ranging from expansion teams to raising the pitching mound to adding more playoff teams. During that span, attendance has been flat - raised quite significantly in the early 1990's only to fall flat on their faces due to the strike in 1994. The 1998 homerun battle between Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa brought baseball to the front pages again, but once again, the baseball executives managed to trip over their wingtip shoelaces in 2002 and nearly had another work stoppage. Since then, fans have slowly returned to the ballparks again, but this time they are being driven away from performance enhancement scandals and cheating.
Be sure to note that during this roller coaster ride, there has been one constant - Bud Selig heavily influencing MLB. Selig has only done one thing right (in my mind) in helping baseball - the introduction of the Wild Card and three division format. Doubling baseball's postseason teams helped many cities win a spot (albeit rewarding mediocrity), and some have even gone on to win the World Series. So, yes, the Wild Card and three division format helped enhance excitement for baseball. Selig appeared to be on a mission to bring the Milwaukee Brewers to the playoffs with his introduction of the Wild Card, salary caps, interleague play, etc.
However, the format by which the divisional rounds were initially setup were severely flawed since they chose a five game format. The team with the best record had to play the first two games on the road and then the final three games at home. This allows the team with the poorer record to get an early and probably unfair advantage. MLB followed this format for the 1995-1997 seasons, and now for 2012. Supposedly, the decision to go with this format in 2012 was made too quick as they did not have time to make the schedule - whatever.
A key difference for 2012 was adding an additional Wild Card team. The two Wild Card teams will play one game for the right to play in the divisional round series. Although, I can see how this creates a slight advantage for the top division winner waiting for this "play-in" game, as the wild card game teams will most likely use their best pitcher for that game, and not be at full strength.
However, perhaps baseball should allow three wild card teams in each league, and setup a format similar to the NFL. So in addition to the three division winners, there will be another three wild card teams. The three wild card teams will pair off with each other and the third best division winner in a five-game series (2-2-1 format of course). Meanwhile, the top two division winners get a one-week bye to await these winners. Once the wild card winners emerge, then they can resume the divisional round of best of five series, followed by the League Championship series (best of seven), and then World Series (best of seven).
The only caveat is that inserting another week-long round into the format would mean that the World Series would have to start in November. In order to prevent that, simply start the MLB season a week sooner at the end of March (and get rid of having a regular season game before the end of the Spring Training games).
Unfortunately, for 2013, the Houston Astros are moving to the American League West to create a more "balanced" system. But in reality, the system will be anything but. There will be interleague play everyday, managers, players, and fans alike will be confused on who is playing whom, where, and why certain players are not in the lineup due to the non-DH rule in the National League. Granted, having 14 teams in one league and 16 in another seems unfair, but unless baseball contracts two teams (which they never will) or expands by two more (even more unlikely), this appears to be Selig's best solution to get the Brewers another edge at making the postseason (keep in mind that the Brewers are in the only six-team division, thus lowering their chances of making the playoffs).